How does one measure success of such accounts beyond crude follower accounts? Of the many measures of online influence klout is currently one of the leading ones, and recently they released a most influential colleges on Twitter list
I repeated the test for some library Twitter accounts and below are the top ones I found with Klout scores above 50.
EDIT : Lilly Hunter in the comments points out that OrkneyLibrary has a Klout score of 57/58 which puts it 5th with a relatively low number of followers of 2.2k, which is pretty impressive.
I came up with this list by running the entries from the following list - The Twitter league of libraries through Klout. I setup this list in 2009, since then the service - Twitter League has being sold and the statistics listed are no longer reliable, but they still provide a fair good sample of library Twitter accounts.
What's a good Klout score? Klout has a very complex system of measurement claiming to use "over 35 variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score."
In general I found that while many large established Twitter library accounts had Klout scores between 30-40s, scores 50 and above were fairly rare, and the list above shows the 19 I found.
As a benchmark, my own individual Twitter account currently has a Klout score of 52, but Klout scores change from day to day so by the time you read this, you will find this list slightly outdated.
The list isn't much of a surprise, dominated by large public libraries like New York Public Library (read about their story), Boston Public Library and icons like Library of Congress and British Library etc. Number of followers is important, all on the list have over 1.5k followers and most are in the 2k-4k range.
As such size of user base is important, and public libraries have an advantage here with only one academic library making the list University of South California Libraries (USCLibraries).
That said Klout is not just about number of followers though, otherwise academic library Twitter accounts like OU_Library (3.5K followers), yalelawlibrary (5.1K followers), yalesciencelibrary (2.3k followers) would have made the list . It's clearly not just a matter of number of followers but also whether the twitter account can engage with the user base.
I also did a quick comparison against the Klout scores of top University Twitter accounts and their respective library accounts and as you might expect the later tends to be lower than the former (tending towards 30-40s range).
Standard disclaimer, despite Klout calling themselves the "standard for influence", like any rating or ranking system it pays to be skeptical and take this has a guide or indicator rather than gospel truth of how well your library's twitter account is doing.
Presumably accounts with relatively low followers but with relatively high Klout scores e.g are doing something right by engaging users (particularly influencial users), getting their tweets spread etc, but this will require some study of the contents itself.
I just noticed that with this post, I have made 101 entries, just few weeks shy of the 2 year mark. I'm also honoured to be placed as one of the ten blogs listed in Blake's LISNews Blogs To Read in 2011 . Hope I can keep this up and produce worthy material that will be useful to the readers of this blog.
Edit : Fixed link to @MancLibraries was pointing to the wrong Twitter profile, apologies.